Staving Off Mouth Sores

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While commonplace and generally self-healing, mouth sores can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Here is a brief listing of the types and treatments for the common kinds that crop up.


An overgrowth of soft-tissue cells in the mouth that make a whitish, mottled-looking patch in the mouth. This rough area is in direct response to an irritation to the area. The source of the irritant could be braces, dentures, nighttime clenching and sucking on the insides of the mouth, anxiety, medication, etc. Tobacco use is also a factor. While generally, it is benign and not a source of pain, leukoplakia has been associated with oral cancer and should be biopsied by your dentist if he suspects any issue.

Canker Sores

These occur after there is trauma to the mouth. White or gray small sores with a red border. They are not contagious and will heal on their own within two weeks or sooner. While uncomfortable, they generally aren’t painful. Still, if relief is needed, over-the-counter topical anesthetics can be found at your local pharmacy.


“Oral Thrush” is another name for this fungus. It is basically a yeast infection occurring in the moist tissues of the mouth. Candidates for this problem are those with poor health or immune system deficiencies. Candidiasis is commonly discovered in the very young and seniors. Some medications can cause it, and even antibiotics have been caught as a culprit. It appears as a white patch that may become sore and bleed. Properly oral hygiene and time off from wearing your dentures can help heal this. Antifungal medication can be prescribed by your doctor to lend in healing.

Cold Sores

Contagious, blister-like sores that appear around the mouth. This is the herpes simplex virus and it cannot be cured from the body. Meaning that, even after it goes away, it will recur at another time your immune system is weakened. You may have experienced flu-like symptoms when first infected. It typically lasts about a week, but you can get antiviral medication prescribed by your doctor to speed healing.

If you’ve developed mouth sores and need advice, call Dr. Daniel Baird and our team at Alpine Meadows Family Dental. You can make an appointment at: 801-492-9207, or come by our office in Lehi, Utah.